Kimberley City Council hosted a Committee of the Whole meeting at Centennial Hall this week, to discuss flood problems and potential mitigation with Morrison Sub residents.
The major step to come out of the meeting was the intention to form a working group, which will be led by Coun. Darryl Oakley, to discuss what needs to be done. Residents, along with people from the Meadowbrook water system, which operate the Meadowbrook dam, will join the group.
“Really a major point is communication,” Oakley said. “Just to stay in touch, with a clearly defined method of communication. So every one in Morrison Sub knows what the city is working on and when it will happen.”
The Morrison subdivision has a history of flooding, the worst in recent years being in 2012. Historically the area is a wetland with a high water table. Kimberley Creek runs through many of the properties in the subdivision, and has been straightened out over time with driveway culverts. In the 1950s the creek was run into an undersized storm sewer that runs 1.6 kilometres to the Mark Creek Flume.
One factor that many believe has something do with recent flooding is the increased logging in the Kimberley Creek watershed, which the City has advocated to be reduced.
Since 2012, the City has done some work, including installing a larger culvert under Pearson Road and raising the height of the road. The height of the sewer lift station was increased. The City also commissioned an engineering report and enacted a flood bylaw that sets flood construction levels for new constructions.
However, much of the area which floods is on private land, which limits what the City can do.
A potential long term, and expensive, fix is to daylight Kimberley Creek as it runs to Mark Creek, creating an exposed channel, a wetland pond area, and installing larger stormwater pipes.
This City applied for a downtown infrastructure redevelopment grant this past spring, which included $1,012,000 for constructing the daylight and $375,000 for increasing stormwater capacity under Wallinger Avenue.
In August an application was submitted to the National Disaster Mitigation Program for $150,000 to complete engineering design for the daylighting of the creek, pond and pipes. This month the city is preparing another application, this time to the Columbia Basin Trust Climate Action program for $50,000 for the engineering study.
“We had the meeting at a time of no pressure,” Mayor Don McCormick said. “We’re not in the middle of a flood event so it’s a good time to talk about what we can do. I think the information was generally well received. I’m hopeful we’ll get at least one of the grants we are applying for.”